How to Take Care of a Deck

How to Take Care of a Deck

Temperature changes, environmental toxins and everyday use will eventually affect your deck. Taking care of it, both in advance as well as as soon as you notice a problem, can extend the life of your deck for years.

Instructions

Step 1

Identify the natural things that may affect your deck directly. Water, sunlight, mildew and dirt are the four basic ones, but depending where you live, your deck may be prone to suffering damage from one of them more than from the others. For example, people living in the West Coast may be prone to water damage (frequent rains), while those living in Florida will have to worry about the effect of Ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Step 2

Look for products to protect your deck from the identified threat. A good example is water-resistant varnishes. If your deck is unsealed, consider applying a sealing coat, which locks in the brightness and protects the quality of the wood. You will need to sand the deck first to remove dirt and stains and then apply a coat of sealer using a roller and a brush.

Step 3

Use a chlorine-based bleach to lighten stains on a deck or to fight discoloration caused by the sun. Bleach is not particularly damaging to wood and it causes just a slight effect, enough to make a difference but not enough to risk ruining the wood. Bleach kills bacteria and gets rid of mildew and fungus so it’s a great option if you find signs of them.

Step 4

Take care of loose nails, splinters or broken surfaces as soon as you spot them. This will prevent streaks from extending and damaging the structure of the deck. If you notice a large crack, you may be better off consulting a professional installer on how to best proceed to seal it. Otherwise, you can probably do so on your own by using sealing varnishes or a hammer.

Tips and Warnings

When your deck is installed, you should have received a specific list of care tips. Refer to it to see if the type of wood you have requires any special care or products.

About this Author

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications, including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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